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    Pool Automation (long)

    Some of you may have seen my request in comp.home.automation before but I've refined it a little bit. I've been using x10 stuff for a while but mostly lamp modules and cameras. I'm interested now in automating my pool. I want to take the DIY approach but only to a certain level. There are so many products and so much info that I'm hoping you good folks can steer me in the right direction and recommend devices that I can use, I plan on doing a custom vb app to support this. I'm not too much of a hardware or driver guy so api style or activex interfaces are for me with pre-packaged specific function hardware devices.

    Heres the stuff I think I'll need:

    * Controller that supports bi-directional (polling) info from addressed devices, mostly humidity and temp sensors but also security devices. I need 2 water temp sensors to be installed in the pvc pipes, 1 room temp sensor and 1 humidty sensor.

    * Controls with actual 120/240 volt output for direct connection of filter(1.5 hp), dimmable lighting (1000 watts), 24vac relays for direct connection to oil boiler zone controls (simulate a thermostat turning on/off), exhaust fan/damper control and low voltage for low voltage lighting as well as several 110 accessory outlets/relays. I want to avoid appliance and lamp modules and would like something that could be panel mountable or relay based with each relay/breaker/outlet being controllable by x-10 address. I'd also like to be able to poll devices to make sure that they've turned on or off.

    * Mountable or hand held remotes (I want the pc to get the remote button presses and turn devices on of off by code and not have the remotes talk directly to devices (different house code ??)

    I think homeseer would be able to handle most if not all of my needs but I want a custom interface so the wife and kids can click and control the filter, heater or lights without concern of them getting confused. I also want to add a camera output or two to the interface so I can actually see things happening when I'm sitting on my fat *** in front of the pc or remotely through web or terminal server.

    I do have a budget and will have an electrician help with any line voltage devices. I have some of the stuff I need but I'm not sure if my cm-11a will handle bi-directional data or polling so thinking I might need something with a little more processing power.

    I think there's a hole in my design where if i turn on a heater or pump and my pc or communiction dies then these devices will continue to run. So I'll probably have to add some type of overheat or total system shutdown device.

    I've looked at pool control systems and although they are nice, they don't offer the flexibility that I need like tracking how long a temp change takes, or detecting motion to turn on lights so I'm going more the diy route.


    I think my three biggest concerns are which controller, which temp sensors and which panel with relays.


    Thanks for any help,

    Mark

    #2
    ... I think the Applied Digital Ocelot (or Leopard) and associated expansion modules would work perfectly for you.

    http://www.appdig.com/adicon_new/ocelot.htm

    The Ocelot can either be hard-wired or X-10 controlled. I would recommend hard-wired if at all possible.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Controller that supports bi-directional (polling) info from addressed devices, mostly humidity and temp sensors but also security devices. I need 2 water temp sensors to be installed in the pvc pipes, 1 room temp sensor and 1 humidty sensor.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You can connect numerous Bobcat temperature and humidity sensors to the Ocelot. I believe I have seen information that said the temp probe itself is submersible.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> * Controls with actual 120/240 volt output for direct connection of filter(1.5 hp), dimmable lighting (1000 watts), 24vac relays for direct connection to oil boiler zone controls (simulate a thermostat turning on/off), exhaust fan/damper control and low voltage for low voltage lighting as well as several 110 accessory outlets/relays. I want to avoid appliance and lamp modules and would like something that could be panel mountable or relay based with each relay/breaker/outlet being controllable by x-10 address. I'd also like to be able to poll devices to make sure that they've turned on or off. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I believe all of this could be accomplished with the RLY8-XA module.

    http://www.appdig.com/adicon_new/rly8xa_specs.htm

    The relay contacts are rated at 10 amps. Not sure if that would handle 1.5 HP or not. 1000 watts would be close. If you could split the 1000 watts into two circuits, there would be no problem. Worst case, use one of these relays to close another relay rated for higher current.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I think there's a hole in my design where if i turn on a heater or pump and my pc or communiction dies then these devices will continue to run. So I'll probably have to add some type of overheat or total system shutdown device. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The Ocelot (or Leopard) can function independently of the attached PC. They are supplied with a simple programming tool called CMAX. You would just create a simple, stand-alone program that would be loaded into the Ocelot to turn off specific devices after they have been on for a certain amount of time as a fail-safe in the event the PC crashes. You could also reference the Bobcat temperature sensors by with the CMAX program and then turn devices off if they overheat. In fact, the RLY8-XA also has a built-in watchdog function that will open the relay contacts if it doesn't hear from the Ocelot for a certain period of time.

    The main negative you will probably hear about the Ocelot system on this board is the cost. It isn't cheap compared to some DIY solutions.

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      #3
      I am also considering to remotely control my pool but as much as possible remotely and consider to go a couple of steps further. I consider to either use an ioniser for keeping the pool clean, or to use a "Chloride dripper". Then put an XCAM2 camera on top for manual verification through the web. Then I consider to change the lever of the filter & tube system for 6 electric switches in the tubes for skimmer/floor/waste/return/filter up/down. The only 3 items left in my mind is: how do I remove the leafs from the pre-filter when it gets full.... and: how long can I handle this without vacuuming.... and: how do I detect when the sand-filter is full so that this can trigger a back-wash procedure.

      Comment


        #4
        There are so many choices so instead of spinning around in circles I've started to purchase components and started programming my interface. Why am I telling you this ? Becasuse just recently I was on several sites that have 1-wire pressure sensors, something possible to trigger a backwash ?

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